Document 12C: Reverend Francis L. Cardozo to Samuel Hunt, 1865, Ellen Lawson and Marlene D. Merrill Papers, Record Group 30/157, Box 1, Oberlin College Archives (Photocopies of Original Letters in American Missionary Association Records).
[to Samuel Hunt, late 1865]
I have been anxious to write you for sometime on another important subject, at least important to me personally. Mrs. Wall and Miss Alexander informed me when they came down here, that you had told them I wrote you requesting you not to send me any colored teachers. They naturally felt much hurt.
I am sure you are mistaken in saying I ever requested such a thing. My request was that I should have all Northern Teachers. It was and still is perfectly indifferent to me whether they are white or colored, all I ask is that they be competent for their work, and when I made the request I did so because Northern Teachers are more competent than Southern ones.
I hope therefore you will do me the justice to send me a written correction of this mistake that I may show these ladies; for if such a report were to be circulated in the city it would hurt my influence very much.
I am sure you would not willingly do me the injustice of supposing me guilty of such unchristian conduct as requesting competent persons to be denied positions on account of their color.
And indeed such conduct would be especially foolish and suicidal on my part.
[signed] F.L. Cardozo[A]
A. Rev. Francis L. Cardozo (1837-1903) was born in Charleston, South Carolina, to a white father and a non-white mother. He was educated in New England and in Scotland. In 1865 he founded the Avery Institute of Charleston, the first secondary school for African-American children; he played a key role in Reconstruction politics in South Carolina.
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